Scott Satterfield and his staff had a very dull 2020 national signing day as they didn’t have any signees to announce. They signed 25 players during the early signing period as well as announcing that two players from the 2019 had now qualified and would join the team. Louisville still has a few spots left in their class but it’s unlikely that those spots will be filled by high school or JUCO players. So with the class likely filled out in the traditional sense, it’s a good time to post some thoughts on the 2020 class.
THE CLASS RANKING IS A BIT MISLEADING
I utilize 247’s composite rankings and ratings for everything so I guess I should point that out first. 247 has UofL’s class ranked 42nd but folks should probably put more weight into the average player rating. I’ve probably pointed this out before but class rankings don’t account for class size which is part of the reason why Clemson had never had a top-5 class before this year. Their 2018 class had the same average player rating that their 2020 class has but it was ranked four spots lower. Louisville’s 2019 class was ranked 82nd by Rivals but was much higher when you look at the average rating. The rankings are what people go by because they’re.....rankings. But some more context helps judge these things better, in my opinion.
The 2020 Louisville class has the second highest player rating since joining the ACC. The 2018 class was helped by the last minute addition of Jairus Brents who was never going to see the field here, to be honest. Thirteen players from that class remain on Louisville’s roster and Quen Head exhausted his eligibility. The coaching change has some to do with that but it should also be pointed out that only three of the eight players that left the program ended up at a power five school.
So I think it’s fair to say that this recruiting class at least met the standard that has been set over the last six years. The issue with that, of course, is that recruiting needs to improve.
LOUISVILLE NEEDS TO LAND SOME FOUR STAR PLAYERS
This roster was in shambles when Scott Satterfield took over and it will take another class to get to where they need to be. Having said that, they really need to up the level of player that they’re landing in the 2021 class. UofL didn’t land a composite four star player in this class after Chubba Purdy flipped to FSU and that definitely has to change going forward.
Rivals has Kam Wilson as a four star and 247 has Luke Kandra as a four star as well as the 6th ranked offensive guard in the country. What Louisville needs is guys who are high level recruits across the board who also have high level offers. Dave Lackford at CardinalSports.com made a good point that some of the Louisville commits shut things down after committing which could have lead to the lack of offers.
THIS CLASS FILLED NEEDS
The odds of this class being at the level of the 2011 class were pretty slim. This staff didn’t have the playing time to sell and they also took over a roster that was so unbalanced that they had to address those issues first. Charlie Strong also had Clint Hurtt and Ron Dugans to help him raid Florida.
Satterfield may have underestimated his staff, the roster, or maybe both. He’s made it very clear that he didn’t feel great about where the team was after spring practice and I think that is what led to them taking so many players in the spring and early summer. They had to get guys to fit needs and when they found guys early on, they took them. Satterfield didn’t foresee 8 wins (no realistic person did) so waiting until the fall to try to fill a large class would have been risky.
Louisville should go into the fall with the offensive line having real options from a depth standpoint. The defensive line will be young but nearly all of the defensive linemen the staff has recruited should be able to see the field next year. Quarterback and cornerback are more thin than they would like but they should be fine as ling as they’re healthy. With the staff getting the numbers much closer to where they need to be, they can go much harder at guys that will upgrade the talent level in the 2021 class.
THE 2021 CLASS WILL GIVE US A GOOD VIEW AT HOW THIS STAFF CAN RECRUIT
Louisville should be losing around 11 starters after the 2020 season. With the eight or so scholarships they have open right now, they should be able to bring in another full class in 2021. The staff has already upped the level of player that they’re offering. They also have a handful of players who will be making multiple visits this spring or have already been on campus last year.
We still have plenty of time to see players transfer or other roster changes to happen but I think the staff probably has a strong idea of what positions they need to fill. They’ll likely look for one or two quarterbacks depending on what Jawon Pass does. Offensive and defensive line still have numbers to fill. Inside linebacker, safety, and cornerback definitely need help as they will be losing guys in those positions that are key players.
Here’s a list of some of the guys the staff is targeting:
Travion Ford - Defensive End
Ford has been to campus at least three times in the last year and he has said that he will be returning again. I would expect the staff to look to get him in for spring practice as well as a camp this summer. Ford is definitely at the top of the recruiting board and it’s a good sign that he has been on campus three times before his junior year has ended.
Jordan Dingle - Tight End
Louisville needs some help at tight end and Dingle is the best tight end in Kentucky. Digle was in town for UofL’s big recruiting weekend in January and I think Marshon Ford’s big season will only help to the staff’s recruiting efforts here.
Colton Gauthier - Quarterback
Another recruit who has stated that they will make a return visit after being on campus in January. Gauthier is likely to see his recruiting rankings rise after the spring as he has gained a ton of interest from power five schools. I think UofL might be behind Ole Miss and South Carolina here but hopefully a couple of visits to campus can sway him.
Corey Kiner - Running Back
I don’t think that Louisville has much of a chance here but Kiner has been to campus a couple of times and Louisville can sell an offense that has been very good to running backs over the years. Kiner likely ends up at Ohio State but having Cort Dennison recruiting Ohio gives UofL a chance.
Bralyn Oliver - Card
I’m making a bit of an assumption here with Oliver’s position but he has mentioned that he wants to play a role like Isaiah Simmons in college. Oliver is a former Georgia commit who has also had some interest from Notre Dame. Gunter Brewer has been in on him for about a year now so I feel really good about Louisville’s chances here.
Jordan Lovett - Safety
Lovett led the state of Kentucky in interceptions last year. This could be a battle between UofL and UK depending on how his recruitment goes this summer.
Mario Love - Cornerback
Love called his Louisville offer a “dream offer” which seems to be a good thing.
Fred Eaford - Wide Receiver
Here’s what Eaford’s Twitter looked like a few days ago.
Maybe a positive sign? pic.twitter.com/1PlC1xgjLK— Keith Wynne (@Keith_Wynne) February 5, 2020
Teenagers are impossible to read so who knows if any of that means anything. None of the recruiting folks have made any mention of it so I wouldn’t be surprised if nothing comes of it.
Amari Huggins - Wide Receiver
I don’t know if any player has received more attention from a coach as Huggins has from Brewer. Brewer retweets everything this kid does and it’s pretty obvious he is recruiting him hard. I’ll be interested to see if he gets to campus this spring.
Aubrey Burks - Safety
Louisville offered Burks back in November and the hope here is that getting in early will help. Burks has picked up a bunch of offers in the last two months and FSU had him on campus for their big January recruiting weekend.
Deshawn Troutman - Inside Linebacker
Trennel Troutman’s younger brother picked up an offer back in October and Louisville will likely have to hope that playing with his brother will be a factor in his decision. Miami offered recently and I would be shocked if his recruitment doesn’t pick up over the summer.
Jaraye Williams - Outside Linebacker
T-Will’s son picked up an offer recently and I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t make it to campus this spring. I think he has the frame to play inside linebacker and I could see the staff selling him on the potential to play inside or outside.
Kaleb Edwards - Safety
Louisville got Edwards on campus in January and I think that their timing was good. Edwards has been offered by a handful of schools in the last couple of weeks and took a visit to Georgia. Edwards starred on offense but ShaDon Brown is his lead recruiter which tells me he is being targeted as a safety by UofL.